6 Tips How to Make People Say Yes

By Melania Armento

Published 16 October 2020

Many fitness professionals will agree with me when I say that there is nothing more frustrating than getting no for an answer. You’ve got a solid concept, great equipment, and the best trainers in the business.

You have invested your time in a trial period or a club tour and people still walk away. Why? Why do people say no? Why do they say “I have to think about it”? What are the reasons behind this? In this blog I will give tips on how to avoid objections and the 6 steps to handle them.

Why Do We Get Objections?

Before I joined Virtuagym I used to be a sales representative in a four-person team at a high-end health club in the Netherlands. Selling 50 to a 100 memberships per person per month, I’ve had my share of objections on why not to join our club. Objections like “you’re too expensive” or “your competitor is less expensive”.

Why do you get these kinds of objections? Are they really that hung up on the price? The answer is no. You never get objections purely because of price. You get objections because there is no match between the sense of value that potential members associate with your services and the price that you ask for it.

I say “sense” of value because everyone can interpret the value of your services differently. A simple example is art: for one person a painting is worth millions, for the other it is worth nothing.

How to Prevent Objections

So, based on this theory you have two options to attract more new members to your fitness business. Option one is to lower your price. In this case the price will eventually match the sense of value and more members will join.

Of course for a lot of business owners this means that they will earn less and therefore this is not always an ideal solution. Option number two is to find ways to increase the sense of value that potential customers link to your services. But how do we go about doing this?

The only way to build a sense of value is by discovering what is actually valuable to them. It sounds obvious, but in reality I’ve noticed that almost nobody takes this crucial first step. Almost no one really takes the time to find out what’s actually important for their potential new clients.

Ask the right questions

The way to do this is by doing an extensive needs analysis for each new potential member. In my previous blog, “4 Tips to Sell More Memberships”, I gave some powerful example questions that you could ask every new member that joins your business. But remember that finding out their hidden motives is the most important thing. The following questions could help you to find them.

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Why do you want to reach this goal?
  3. Why is this so important for you?

As soon as you’ve discovered their hidden motives (the things that are valuable to them) you can easily link the benefits of your service to the right motive. This will increase the sense of value that potential members have with your business which will result in more members. An example:

  1. What is your goal? → To lose weight
  2. Why do you want to reach this goal? → To look good
  3. Why is this so important for you? → It makes me happy

Imagine you sell memberships for your gym, studio or personal training business for 100,- per month. Would a potential customer pay 100,- per month to lose weight? Probably not. To look good? Maybe. Would they pay 100,- per month to feel happy again? Yes, of course!
It’s not about the price but about the sense of value that a potential customer associates with your service.

How to Handle Objections

But what if you still get objections? What do you do? First of all, don’t freak out! Objections are not an excuse not to join your business, but in most cases are purely a request for more information.

So embrace them, expect them, and handle them. Here are the 6 steps to handle objections.

The objection: “I need to think about it.”

1. Empathise

The first thing you want to do when you get an objection like this is to empathize with the objection of the potential new member. Say things like: “I understand, I know what you mean” or “I could see why you would say that’’.

Just remember that empathizing is not the same as agreeing with someone. So avoid things like “I agree, you shouldn’t join right now”. In most cases that won’t help you to win over this person.

2. Probe

Probing is to find out everything you need to know about this specific objection. Ask questions like “Tell me more about this specific concern. What do you need to think about, specifically?”

In a lot of cases, they will tell you the doubts that they still have about becoming a member. They might tell you that your competitor is cheaper, for example.

3. Isolate

Before you provide them with a solution, you’ll want to make sure that there aren’t any other objections. Imagine that you’ve handled the objection like a pro and then, as soon as you reached the point of asking them to join again, they tell you they have more concerns.

This way you can start all over. So, as soon as you’ve empathised and have learnt everything about this concern that you need to know, ask questions such as: “is this the only thing stopping you from joining today?” or “is this your only concern?”.

4. Summarise

Make sure to summarise what they’ve told you. First of all, this gives them the feeling that you actually listened. Second, it will make sure that what you heard is what they meant.

So say something along the lines of “OK, so if I understand you correctly, you want to think about it because our competitor is 10,- per month cheaper than we are”.

5. Give a solution or recap the value

When handling an objection it’s best if you can provide your potential customer with a solution for their objection. Since an objection is in most cases purely a request for more information about what you offer, this could very well do the trick.

If you can’t solve the objection, the next best thing is to recap the value of your service. What makes you better than the rest? For example: “Yes, they are 10,- cheaper than us. Now tell me, if they would charge the same fee, who would you choose then and why? […] So, that’s why we charge 10,- more per month”.

6. Ask again

Of course after providing them with a great solution or a recap of your value, don’t forget to ask them to join again.

Conclusion

Price is never the primary reason for objections. You get often a ‘No’ when there is no match between the sense of value that potential members associate with your services and the pricing of your offering. Since lowering your price is not an option in most cases, it is up to you to deal with objections.

As a successful fitness professional, your main focus should be how to avoid them, but if you do encounter objections you should know how to handle them. The best way to avoid objections is by finding out what’s important to your potential new member and show them the benefits of your business by showing how your services address their needs.

Melania Armento

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